27 Oct, 2016

Why you need to put a limit on your candidate list

27 Oct, 2016

With all the technology we have at our disposal, it's easy to forget that recruitment is an industry dedicated to people and relationships. All too often recruiters seem to forget that recruitment systems should be used to fill in the gaps of human capability, rather than help us do something we could never do in the first place.

The biggest offender in this case is the overwhelmingly large databases that so many recruiters are assigned to. Borne out of a belief that quantity can trump quality when it comes to creating a candidate list, these large databases can overwhelm recruiters and inhibit their ability to form meaningful relationships with their candidates. By intentionally limiting the number of candidates a recruiter looks after, the focus is on developing quality relationships which lead to better placements for their clients.

Relationships trump quantity

A number of recruiters happily rattle off the large number of candidates they have in their database when pitching to clients, but it's not quantity that a hiring manager at a business is looking for. Instead they desire a quality placement that's going to fill a valuable gap in their employment ranks.

It's easy to see how these databases develop and get out of hand, however. The prevalence of online job advertisements makes it easy for recruitment companies to attract large numbers of candidates. But this has a cost. The proportion of candidates that apply to these postings with properly tailored cover letters and CVs is unfortunately low. Although, it can give you a few worthy new options if people make an effort to contact you properly. 

Essentially, it's a percentage game. With all the effort of distributing online ads, maybe 10 per cent of the responses will be worth pursuing. If a recruiter can go straight to a trusted candidate for a referral instead, that hit rate is much higher.

Job advertisements aren't the best way to build a candidate list. Job advertisements aren't the best way to build a candidate list.

What does a good relationship between candidate and recruiter look like?

Effective relationships in the recruitment industry should benefit all parties involved. When a recruiter puts effort into building a strong relationship, they can go to the candidate when they need something and work together on a solution. This also means the candidate is more likely to go back to them, whether they're looking for a new position themselves or know someone else in the industry who is looking to move on as well.

The relationship-focused approach to recruiting also opens the doors to passive recruitment – a practice that relies on insider knowledge and sustained relationships. In many cases, the best candidate for a role won't be actively looking at job ads, so it's up to recruiters to build these networks of passive candidates and know who is best going to meet a client's requirements.

Should they stay or should they go?

The next issue recruiters need to tackle after deciding that a shorter list is right for them is who stays and who goes. To an extent, candidates should be working to stay on the list. It's not about those who submitted applications to your online job ad, rather, those who see the ad and call you to have a chat instead.

The relationship needs to be a two way street, prioritising people who recruiters know and talk to. Recruiters can call them with job offers and requests for other professionals in the given industry, and candidates likewise can get in touch if they want a new opportunity or know someone who will be perfect for a specific vacancy.

How can recruiters build a new list?

Building a specialised list is especially valuable for recruiters that want to move into a new vertical. There may be the temptation here to go for the quantity approach, essentially playing catch up with those already working in it, which will lead recruiters to simply putting a job ad online and sifting through the innumerable responses.

Job ads need to have a human element to attract the right type of candidates.

The key here is to craft and distribute an accurate and detailed ad which is targeted at exactly the type of person a recruiter wants to interest. To do this, the ad needs to have benchmarks within it that can act as signifiers of the right candidate.

The more boxes a candidate ticks, the better suited they are to being on a recruiter's list. Don't just focus on the bare facts about the role, humanise it. Recruiters should make an effort to bring a personable tone to the ad that triggers an emotional response in candidates. Ideally, they'll want to get in touch rather than just send through a generic CV and cover letter.

What's the connection with TRIS?

While recruiters need to focus on the human elements of the industry, technology isn't the enemy. Our Total Recruitment Information System (TRIS) is designed to help recruiters build relationships better. It can help people keep track of their candidate lists, the various communications they've had with people and anything else they need to know to grow and retain these relationships.

To find out more about what we can offer technology specifically tailored to forming relationships between recruiters, candidates and clients, get in touch with the team at Recruitment Systems today.